Episode 5 – Gods and Demons

We begin the episode with a flashback from Himematsu.

The interaction between Himematsu’s coach and Kyouko is interesting to say the least. You can clearly tell that there are some sort of tension with them. Kyouko is particularly rude about it. Emphasizing the term substitute. 

Meaning not the original, a placeholder.

Not the real one.

Either Kyouko has a heavy attachment  to the original coach which we found out has been hospitalized. Or Akasaka is one of the reason that their coach is hospitalized. Or most likely both. ^^

Though, not all is doom and gloom on our team from Osaka.

Just as this scene reveals tension in place between their chief strategist and coach. It also reveals that Kyouko despite the one who punishes Suzu is also the one who believes on her the most; Recommending Suzu in place of herself on the previous tournament.Believing in the power of her explosive streaks.

Unfortunately, Suzu failed to explode at all. ^^

There is actually a good explanation on that.

You see, as stated Suzu’s power has a high chance of triggering the more powerful the opponent is. And in the vanguard match, Jindai woke up early and Yuuki’s power is only active for half of the match.

So yeah…. ^^

Yuuki’s hand.

Its a three sided wait ( the one of circles, three of circles and four of circles). Without the riichi bet, Yuuki should get a menzen tsumon and 1 dora for 2 han and 30 fu aka 500/1000 points.

Pretty cheap. So I don’t blame Yuuki for calling that even if it backfired.

No one could have predicted Jindai would awa— I meant sleep for the final hand.  ^^

Pretty badass shot there — Jindai.

 

 

And we also get some Eisui post game discussion.

Apparently, Jindai has never played a public game wherein a god didn’t come down and possess her. Meaning, she’s almost always asleep. Consequently this means that she never have to consciously to call a god.

But, as Kasumi speculates and as we saw, Jindai might have been scared of Yuuki’s riichi that she reached out and this time was voluntarily possessed.

That is a big thing. Considering that each god seemed to have different playstyles. Jindai being able to consciously control some of the possession, even if only the timing of it, is going to be a very scary player indeed.

 

 


… I wish I could take this scene seriously. lol

Though, this does explain what the heck are the Shiraitodai members were doing.

If I remember right. Teru and Sumire have a press conference just the night before. And apparently the media wasn’t done with Shiraitodai. Thus, while Side-B quarterfinals is happening they’re doing individual interviews. 

Well, not surprising since the media is hyping them and they are the favorite to win. 

 

 

Anyway, the sergeant match begins.

And all eyes is focused on Kiwi— I meant Aislinn from Miyamori. She has an astounding tenpai rate. As Kyouko put it, she has an astounding rate of closed tenpai before the thirteenth turn came up.

And when Miyamori’s pov was given, we know that it isn’t coincidence. As Shiro put it, “Aislinn materializes her own dreams, her ideal tiles onto the table.”

 We even have a demonstration.

And its a doozy.

As a result of Aislinn’s power, she gets to see all what  her end hand will be like and since she sees the discards, she will also know how to get there.

This is kinda like Ryuuka’s Toki fairy in Achiga-hen. Only, more broken. Since in addition from that, Aislinn can also see the final hands and discards of her opponents. AND unlike Ryuuka she can do it all the time! 

I also bet that Aislinn might affect/influence the flow as well to give her desired hand. Since the description is projecting her ideal tiles on the table. lol

Broken power is broken.

On the hand itself, I don’t see anything eye raising on her discards. And the final result itself, its going to be a mangan. 4,000/2000 points.

Her opponents are in a similar state. I don’t see anything wrong with their discards as well.

With this we could see that her teammates confidence in Aislinn is well placed. It really looks  no one will be able to beat her.

Fortunately, Mako isn’t really one to follow any plan.

As Hisa put it, Mako threw away an all simple flat pure double chi hand which is already one tile away from tenpai to go for a double sided wait which btw is also lower in points.

Its unthinkable. Illogical. And far from ideal. 

Which is why its the right choice.

Next hand, Aislinn should get  a tsumo ipeiko with one dora. That is if everything went to plan. 

Which as shown in this episode isn’t happening. lol

If you guys followed the players discards and their final hand as shown by Aislinn. They played really well. All of their discards are logical and efficient. They showed a great basic skill actually.

But, most importantly, Aislinn’s power showed that they wound’t have won if they keep on doing that. ^^

Aislinn projects her ideal tiles on the table. Thus, as long as the players plays are like that. They are within Aislinn’s projection.  Thus, the key to breaking Aislinn’s power is breaking away from that ideal.  

Mako does this wonderfully.

In here Mako discarded the five of circles. The dora one as well.

… I really don’t have to tell you guys that this is illogical right? ^^

Anyway, I think the reason why Mako discarded that is she needs someone to change the drawing order. Discarding the five dora especially the red one when the ura dora indicator is 4 of circles meant there is a high chance that someone is collecting that tile and will call on it.

And she was right. Himematsu’s is doing so.

But, more importantly for Mako the drawing order is changed. Aislinn’s winning tile isn’t going to come to her anymore. The hand that she imagined is no longer possible. That is why Aislinn’s power break.


And nice.

Also some nice power interaction here. As we could see from Aislinn’s imagination board, most of the hands she imagines or projects on the table is conventional.  

Mako’s power works best the more familiar she is with it. Due to Aislinn’s power everyone is nudged to conventional hands. Making it easier for Mako to read the table.

All in all. Its not surprising that Mako takes this match hard. ^^

Episode 3.3 – First Impressions

And now flashback time is over. Time to get on with the mahjong.

Btw, wow on the guy announcer. He sounds  GAR. ^^

We begin by Hiroe calling a kan and failing to get a rinshan kaihou. lol. (Subtle reminder that despite Saki making it look easy, Rinshan is a really really rare yaku.)

Anyway, we were given some background information on the match. Namely the scores:

Karouta High School : 168,800

Himematsu High School : 111,300

Hida Business School : 47,900

Kuratsuki High School : 71, 000

When I first saw this,  I was taken aback. I expected Himematsu who was being touted as the top school to be leading. And yet, they were down by 57,500 points.

This coupled with the announcer’s helpful exposition. That Karouta High School gained those points at the vanguard match already hints that the vanguard of Himematsu is less stellar.

The dealer (Hida High school) has called a riichi. Thus, the situation demands some caution.

Pretty nice hand.

She just needs to discard the nine of bamboo and she’ll get an expensive hand. To those who want to know, her yaku is menzen tsumo, honitsu and yakuhai for a total of 5 han. She’s ridiculously lucky with the dora as well. Beside the obvious red five of bamboo on her hand. A brief glimpse of the table shows that the the eight of bamboo (which she has three) and red dragon (she has two). Thus, at the minimum her hand should net her a a sanbaiman (6,000/12,000 points).

She’s also waiting on a white dragon or a red dragon. Which are pretty good waits in my experience. People usually drop honor tiles after all. ^^

All in all. The reward for going for her hand and dropping the nine of bamboo is high.

As for the risks. If you look at the dealer’s discard pictured above. The nine of bamboo is in her discard pool meaning its safe.

The only problem is Himematsu. But, you could see in Hiroe’s discard pile, the eight of bamboo. Usually this is an indicator that the nine of bamboo is safe as the sequence 7-8-9 is out. Though, there is still toitoi (2 han)  and open chanta (1 han).

Really. Even as I look around this. I see that discarding the nine of bamboo is the right choice. Ichigo played well.

No one expects a freaking yakuman.

Chinroutou (A hand composed entirely of terminal tiles) 

I swear Hiroe is really brilliant here.

That rinshan bluff. (Unless, you’re  name is Saki) You simply do not call a rinshan on a yakuman hand. Kan will open doras but due to the fact you have the highest possible hand, it can only benefit your opponents.

Thus, her rinshan declaration at the start was really a bluff/bait. Remember, to her opponent eyes Hiroe’s open pon shows that there are only three yakus she could reasonably aim for toitoi, chanta and chinrouto. 

With her Rinshan, Hiroe managed to mentally eliminate chinrouto (the yaku that she was aiming for) in the equation. You just have to listen to Ichigo’s monologue to see how effective it is. Ichigo did not even consider chinrouto. After all, not only is it a rare hand, Hiroe called a kan and no one does that when they have a yakuman. Even further, Ichigo thought that Hiroe might not be in tenpai. Remember calling kan recklessly can wreck a hand as shown ala Maho in the trainng camp. ^^

 

We get some characterization for Hiroe at the end of it.

For one, Hiroe… let’s just say that she isn’t lacking in confidence. ^^

I do like her teammates response to her antics. They just nod and says welcome back. lol. Sounds like they’re pretty used to their captain eccentricities.

And I guess, my guess that Suzu dropped the ball on the vanguard match was right. As you can see by the writing on her forehead. ^^

We also get some update on Kiyosumi.

“Nagano is amazing” 

“The dealer is on a renchan streak with crazy wins.”

It seemed like they’re doing really well. ^^

Eisui is also watching Kiyosumi’s matches.

… I am now insanely curious of what shenanigans the first three player of Kiyosumi  namely – Hisa, Mako and Yuuki- were up to in their first interhigh match. Two of their rivals schools are watching them play.  Okay, it may be because they will be their opponents but this is a live match. Shouldn’t Eisui be concerned about Himematsu first?

Of course judging by Eisui’s ensuing conversation. They might be concerned about the school that beat Ryuumonbuuchi. ^^

Especially Amae Koromo. As a recent poster has reminded me, its a bit ridiculous that she managed to put two schools down to zero on her opening match. And then put three schools meaning all her opponents in negative points on the second. Then, you factor that she did this without the full moon. Yeah… Koromo is a pretty badass moon rabbit. ^^

 

Komaki really shined in her scene here. There is this aura of quiet nobility around her.

Jindai: Even if another region has twenty school, that means they won just as many games as the team we played at the Kagoshima finals. And among those three finals schools in the prefecture tournament, were there any we could afford to underestimate?

Pretty quotable too.

 

 

 

Anyway, while this te-a-te is happening, Hisa is being badass. And managed to unleash a haneman on the sixth bonus turn. Putting a school below to zero. And of course, ending the match.

.I must say that is a pretty bold and eye-catching opening match. Kiyosumi just managed to win their first round in the Interhigh without needing Nodoka and Saki. ^^

 

Hiroe’s reaction here is pretty interesting as well.

Hiroe: Now this is interesting. I’m going to have to teach them a lesson.

It says quite a lot about Hiroe’s personality. The first is her boundless confidence. And the other is well… Hiroe is quite a trash talker. ^^

Its really quite a contrast to Komaki Jindai’s quiet dignity.

Jindai: Let us meet all of our opponents with respect.

Stark difference isn’t it? ^^

 

 

 

Fast forward a little. And we are now on Day 5. Side A Quarter finals are starting. And Kiyosumi is watching Shiraitodai’s match specifically Takami’s.

It also means they are not watching the Achiga and Senriyama showdown that happened at the same time.

You know… I wonder about the comments. Yuuki and Kana mentioned all the other schools that are fighting Shiraitodai and said they are good. There is a conspicuous absence of Shiraitodai on their comment…

 

 

 

Notice that Saki didn’t watch the match. She’s really avoiding Teru. Even cable version of Teru. ^^

Saki looked a bit melancholy in this shot…

 

 

 

 

And Yuuki is really learning her lessons. Take note: she ate Tacos in the waiting room. In the prefectural tournament she took them in the match room which caused it to get eaten by Jun. ^^


Notice the commentators billing of this match. “The compelling match-up of Eisui High School and Himematsu High School.” 

Most probably think the same. That the match would be a showdown between the two schools. Consequently, the two winner is already decided in their mind as well. And the commentator for the match is a surprise as well.

Kainou-pro. 

Interesting choice for the quarterfinals. Though quite worrying considering what will happen next.

But, enough about that.

More factoid. Kainou-pro alma mater is Oujou High School. I took the liberty of checking the tournament brackets for you guys and the team that they lost to.

Remember them?


That’s right. The Tea ceremony/Mahjong club. ^^

Anyway, time to introduce the competitors.


First is of course, Jindai Komaki.

… I’ve gotta say. There is something weird about the bridge there. I know its Shinto maiden thingy but its weird. Why is there something like the in the tournament venue? lol Either Jindai’s family spruce it up (their probably rich enough) or its some sort of prayer room in the tournament, that was probably given since well… Eisui team are shinto maidens.

 

 

Shiro from Miyamori.

Another unknown school like Kiyosumi.

My first impression. Lazy. ^^

 

 

Next is Suzu from Himematsu.

According to the announcer, she used to be the vice-captain but now she is playing the vanguard. Quite a position change. And harder on Suzu in general. The vice-captain is usually easier than the vanguard round right now. The current school of thought is putting your ace as the opening.

 

 

 

And of course, Yuuki!

Notice the cape!

Looking pretty heroic and powerful there, Yuuki!


Exhibit A: Media in Saki-verse are idiots. Take everything especially if it isn’t a pro commentator with a grain of salt.

Just kidding. ^^

To be honest, its probably expected. Though, the amazing performance of Kiyosumi in Nagano leaves no doubt to their strength to those who watched it. I don’t think the media is one of the watchers. After all, there are like 52 simultaneous qualifying tournaments going on. And Nagano being small and less famous is probably not the most covered prefecture.

Thus, Kiyosumi’s fame is probably exclusive in Nagano. And that’s true, we could see they have a lot of fans in the previous part of the episode.

The small memo does show that someone took note of them. Just not the current field reporters. sigh…

Yuuki is understandably upset. Saying that Nagano’s level went down meant that the reporters are looking down on them. Her team and her new friends from the training camp.

… And its something that she can’t allow.

Meta-wise, its also a very absurd statement. Nagano prefecture is a hell hole. The difficulty level there is just insane. Half of the National teams if they decided to transfer in Nagano won’t make it to the final round.

Just remember that Achiga. A team which effortlessly breezed through their prefecture. Which made it to the final round of the interhigh, can’t beat Ryuumonbuuchi. And if anime sequence is right. They also lost to the top tier players of Nagano when they practiced.

So Yuuki! Fighto! Show those stupid reporters whos the boss!

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Episode 1 – To Tokyo (Team Introductions)

And now the moment that we are waiting for has finally arrived! Saki Zenkoku-hen is here!

And I loved every second of the first episode. Just watching the old cast and the new ones receiving voices and animation is enough to make me satisfied. ^^

Still, though, I’m not blind to its fault. Namely, its a terrible first episode for those who are unfamiliar with the Saki franchise. Heck, judging from comments I read on some forums even anime only viewers would feel lost here.

Don’t worry though.

This is why I’m making this post! Here, I’ll try to give you guys background of the characters as non-spoiler as possible so you’ll enjoy the show better. (Except if you highlight the text which says spoiler of course)  ^^

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